Why would I buy a full frame DSLR?

An interesting question,  why would I buy a full frame DSLR.  What do I mean by Full Frame?

Heck what does DSLR mean.  There are so many questions to answer.  Well let us proceed to work out why full frame matters.

Many years ago cameras, because of the limitations of the photographic surface,  i.e. the technology of the day meant that film was rather large.  For instance very early plates were often 10 inches on the long side.  Could you imagine carrying a camera around today that was that size,  awkward to say the least.  Like all inventions there were some people that decided that there had to be some improvements so they commenced work.  Trying new methods, chemicals etc until the modern film was invented.  Now these films often came in sizes of 4*5 inches and larger and still used today.  What!! I hear you say still in use,  why? they must be huge and clumsy.  Well they are and to see what they look like google or yahoo away for full format film cameras.

Would I like one ?  Yes I would.  Why?.  Well because the final product is incredibly sharp, covers large parts of the landscape if used for that and the film if processed properly lasts for a long time and no doubt many other reasons explaining why they are still being used.  Whereas the digital file from a digital camera can easily be lost if your hard disk drive fails and there is no backup, lacks detail etc.  (Now there is one caveat here,  one can buy a large format digital camera that produce superb photographs, the problem with these cameras is the cost: $20,000 plus and I am not sure what the upper range of dollars is).   What are the downsides?  Well one has to have film processed, either in a lab or by oneself.  However it is the sharpness and detail that is captured that attracts.

So what has this got to do with a DSLR full frame and you haven’t even answered some of the questions from above I hear you say.

Well as cameras became popular, film technology advanced along with camera technology the 35mm film was born.  The 35mm format became immensely popular from somewhere in the 50’s to 60’s until digital reared its head in a big way.


With the advent of digital chip size and camera size started to govern the size of the sensor.  Now it must be understood that a smaller chip cannot provide as much information as a bigger chip.  Why you ask,  well think about it like this.  Draw a picture on a postage stamp and then enlarge it to A4 size and see how much detail is available.  Now draw the same or similar picture on a piece of paper that is 35mm by 24mm and enlarge that and see the detail difference.  Complexities arise in this argument about the number of pixels but for a simple explanation the analogy I have described is relevant.  Of course extending this one can see why the larger formats provide such luxurious pictures.

Therein lies the reason why I prefer full frame DSLR to a crop image DSLR.  Oh I forgot to answer the “what is a DSLR?” question.


Well a SLR refers to the technology of earlier cameras, Single Lens Reflex.  This means that light shines through the lens, is reflected off a mirror passed through a prism and projected onto a viewing area.  A DSLR is just the digital chip ( the light sensor instead of film) version using exactly the same technology for the view finder image that some users prefer.  Others of course like to look at the screen on the back.  Personally I can’t get used to doing that,  just prefer looking through the viewfinder.


Hope this helps.


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